What Level is Your Design Business?

Laura Thurman: Tips for Building Relationships with Industry Peers & Leaders

Episode 272 of A Well-Designed Business®

Today’s guest is Laura Thurman of Laura Thurman Design Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. She specializes in a global aesthetic that is filtered through a modern lens influenced by her upbringing in Los Angeles, as well as her world travels. Laura Thurman Design Studio services include custom interiors, re-design, weekend styling, and in-field developer selections. Laura talks about the importance of educating clients about the interior design process. To that end, she explains on her website to clients and potential clients the difference between “off the shelf” and “custom made.” We also discuss how she is harnessing the power of building meaningful relationships with peers and industry leaders in helping to grow her firm. In fact, our meeting is a direct result of her commitment to getting out her “box,” reaching out and asking for advice, and for remembering to return the favor. Laura is always thinking of ways to give value back to the new colleagues and mentors she has met. Laura is a delight, and I’m sure you will like her and learn much from what she has to share about intentional networking.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How doors have opened recently because of networking and building professional relationships
  • What Laura has learned from Amy Flurry’s book, Recipe for Press: Designer Edition:
    • How to pitch an idea
    • Why you need to do your homework
    • How each project has multiple offshoots
  • Giving serious thought to your WHY
  • How to tactfully cultivate peer relationships, beginning with being intentionally present
  • Why “thick skin” is important for entrepreneurs to cultivate
  • How social media helps with networking
  • How doors open when you “put it out there”
  • Educating the client:
    • Mainstream and retail = “off the shelf”
    • Quality and exclusive = “to the trade”


Episode 108, Amy Flurry

Episode 203, Darla Powell

Recipe for Press: Designer Edition, by Amy Flurry

What Level is Your Design Business?